Friday, February 10, 2006

 

'Secret Merit Freeze'

Today we raised the bar another notch. When people lie to my it insults my intelligence. When people lie poorly sometimes it's just plain pathetic. Unfortunately once again, today the joke was on me.

When we got our new director, she called everyone in for a one on one and talked with them about how they were doing, etc... My talk with her was quite positive- I outlined how I felt that my job title never described or fit my job duties, how I was undercompensated compared to what the people who did do the same thing as I made, etc. She had already seen much of my work and agreed that I was talented and it was well done. This all transpired in a friendly, 'I want to do better for you but you need to do better for me' conversational tone.

She agreed with me (then began to bad-mouth my supervisor at the time- my first clue - more on that later) and said that her hands were tied, but come Feb. things would happen- I would get the title for the job I have been doing for the last 1 1/2 years, and that the pay scale for that position was significantly higher than what I was currently getting. She then launched into the whole 'give me a chance, Im not the old director' speech. Fair enough - I made the internal decision to give it a chance, but to keep looking and hedge my bets.

Flash-forward to today. One third of the way through Feb. I had heard NOTHING about this supposed promotion, etc. So after a meeting with my sup (a different one- just as the director had said she would in our little talk a couple months prior- my old boss got pinned with some bullshit and demoted) I closed the door and confronted her. MY BOSS KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THE WHOLE SITUATION. Fuck. Great.

I went through expaining whole motherfucker again- trying to choke back the waves of indignant rage and the urge to just say fuck it and walk. Her retort? This gem:

'Well, we're not supposed to say anything, but there is a SECRET merit freeze going on for the month of Feb.'

Secret? Are you fucking kidding me??? Oldest trick in the book. Go fuck yourself.... At least, that's what I was thinking. The whole time she's telling me this - NO EYE CONTACT - looking at everywhere in the room but me. I can hear the gears creaking as she digs herself deeper into the lie. Seriously- my current boss is so fucking bad at lying she might as well tell me the truth- save us both the act. Nine times out of ten I find out what's really going on anyway.

This time was almost as bad as the time I drove by her house (I had to go home and get my glasses, a contact fell out) and she had called in that morning 'because she had a broken pipe'. No car. Hmmmm.... I deliberately asked her about the pipe later that day when she showed up and watched her lie horribly - you know- to gauge how well she could do it... and because I'm an asshole.

Anyway- that's my rant. Back to the grind....

Monday, February 06, 2006

 

'Get Motivated'

Ok, so it's been a while since I updated on this site, so let me catch you up on the events in the brilliant flourescent hell in which I spend 9 hours each day, slowly micturatating my life away...

Thursday was wonderful- even by normal soul-crushing standards, Thursday was magnificent in the sheer splendor by which myself and the rest of my office got fucked over. You see, it's open enrollment- that special time of the year when your floundering company cuts your benefits and expects you to smile about it. I can accept that things may not be going well. I can also accept that the rising cost of healthcare means that everyone- employers AND employees is going to have to pay more. Fine. The health care system is fucked, but it's better than bleeding to death in an alley.

So... the day before we were supposed to meet for our benefits meeting, we all get a note from HR saying that all the benefit information for 2006 was not available, attached was last year's benefit plan for reference. Fully cognizant of the duplicitous yet simeontaneouly vacuuous nature of HR, I decide to look on the company intranet for our benefits booklet (honestly, I don't really see the point of having a meeting about benefits if we don't know what they are, how much they will cost, etc). Of course on the TOP LINE OF THE FIRST PAGE on the intranet site, there was our benefits booklet for 2006. I quickly reply-all to the office that I had found the booklet and direct everyone to the url where they can download a copy.

I didn't really think much of it, until I started comparing benefits and costs from last year's plan to this upcoming year's plan. Low and behold- premiums on the company plan went up SIXTY FUCKING PERCENT. After swallowing the little bit of vomit in my mouth, I went about calculating exactly which plans went up, how much, etc. While my plan (the cheapest, I'm young and healthy) did go up the most, on average plans went up about twenty to thirty percent. Of course, I sent my calculations to the entire office so people could 'make an informed decision'. The ensuing shit-storm would have been quite amusing to an outsider I'm sure. Oh, yeah- I forgot to mention that the most comprehensive plan was cut alltogether. We had a few people that have serious illnesses that require a lot of medical attention actually cry.

Flash forward to the next morning as we're all gathered in the conference room for our benefits info conference call. Everyone is pissed off. HR gets on the call like nothing happened, cheerfully explaining how this plan does this, this one does this, etc. 'Oh yeah, we also totally eviscerated your prescription drug plan so you'll have to get your drugs from Mexico. We think this increases multiculturalism...etc.' You can see daggers in some people's eyes, and others are just staring at the floor. I was one of the people with the daggers....

I had done some research the night before about the specific plan that I have and found some interesting statistics on how much my particular plan had gone up, on average on the national level. By and large, insurance plans are negotiated on a company by company basis- but there are also general averages in terms of what you can expect to see in terms of an increase over a given year. For my plan rates had gone up 8-12% based on locality according to several sites. Let's do the math: 60-12=48%. HMMMMMMMMM....

So HR asks if there are any questions about the new plans. I pipe up: 'so, I noticed that on a national level...blah blah blah... WHY ARE OUR RATES GOING UP SO MUCH? IS IT BECAUSE THE COMPANY HAS LOWERED THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THEY ARE SPENDING ON OUR HEALTHCARE?'. HR - and this is why I HATE HR... hems and haws about costs and benefits, and 'we dont have to give you benefits' etc without answering the question. I ask again... more sidestepping. I interupt-in front of my entire office, say ' dammit- can you just say yes or no?' "...............yes.....' says HR. Audible groans. I guess I fucked up their little plan to not provide accurate information to people about how they were getting fucked over.

So after I confront HR about how our healthcare is getting gutted, the director has the gall to say- 'but... you don't HAVE to use company insurance.' and give me an evil stare. I almost said yes, she was right- I could go work for a company that gives a SHIT, but I want to keep this job while I look.... Regardless, I press harder, because essentially, I don't give a shit- and ask HR how much the company contribution has decreased. Of course, that information was not available.....

The long and the short of it is that we're getting a de facto decrease in pay (or, more technically, compensation), meanwhile on our last quarterly call we find out that our division is 20% over budget in terms of profitability and growing at a rate of about 30% per year. We'll I guess they'll have to grow their training classes too- because as far as I can tell, about 75% of the office is looking for something new a lot harder than they were before that meeting.....

Oh yeah- point of this post- they called everyone into the conference room today to see if anyone wants to go to a 'motivational conference' on Wednesday. I said no. I'm already motivated- to leave this fucking hell-hole.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

 

FUCKING MONDAY

I've had a lot of crappy mondays, but yesterday took the cake. We found out that in 3-6 months we're going to loose the second biggest account in the office. 1/3rd of the people I work with work on this account, it counts for over a quarter of our revenue.

Our brave new leadership still hasn't made an announcement. We heard the news through, well, the news. The company (our client) is selling itself and being broken up. There is no chance we will keep the business because the 3 buyers either do what we do in-house or, in the case of the third, are a liquidation firm. There is a good chance our office may be closed, but... of course they haven't FUCKING SAID ANYTHING- so who knows.

My idea for this blog was that it was supposed to be a funny way for me to vent about work. I really can't think of anything funny about this situation though. It just plain sucks. Management dropped the ball in telling us what was going to happen. All of our jobs are in question. Our parent company is a piece of shit, so I'm not counting on them to do the right thing. I work with alot of good people, hard working and dedicated. We deserve to know more, to have a leader that has a plan.

We dont.

Friday, January 13, 2006

 
Well, on a brighter note, at 3:30 today I decided to not come into work on Monday. I'm ecstatic.

I'd like to take some time to explain the brilliant corporate bullshit that allowed me to pull this off.

The parent company of my division sucks... balls. Currently, we are the only division making any money. As such- last year they decided to pull some Enron-style accounting tricks to make their books look a little better. They took away our sick days and replaced them with 'unlimited personal time'. You may wonder what the hell this means... Basically, they no longer have to keep unpaid sick time on the books - we have a certain amount of vacation time and an indeterminate amount of 'personal time' which has no accounting value.

Apparently, if you abuse this you will get in trouble- I haven't gotten in trouble yet, so I assume that there is no abuse going on.

What this means is that I no longer have to use any quantified amount of 'sick time' when I get blasted on a Wednesday night. I just call in- say I don't feel well and that I'm not going to come in. Since it's 'personal time' I don't even feel the compulsion to come up with some strange disease that will be totally gone in 24 hours (dihareah or food poisoning usually).

Concurrently, we have this stupid timekeeping software we have to log into every 2 weeks to 'approve' our timecard. What makes this really fucking stupid is that I AM SALARIED. We're supposed to put vacation in and then the manager approves it. Apparently neither myself nor my old boss ever bothered to put my vacation time in. Whoops. Again- I haven't been busted for this, so I assume that there is no abuse going on.

The result is that I have ASSLOADS of vacation time. Like 3 weeks. For the first time in like 6 months I decided to take a legitimate vacation day - viola! No work on Monday!!!

 

The Inaugural post - Today at work we COLORED

Some days you wake up and wonder why the fuck you even bothered....

HR is here this week. I hate HR. HATE HATE HATE HATE. Why do you ask? Well, because for the last 3 hours, instead of getting any (marginally) meaningful work done- we all took some time to COLOR. I'm serious. COLOR. You know... what you did in kindergarten- before you went to grade school, junior high, high school, college and got your first couple jobs finally working your way up in the agency biz.

COLOR.

Personally, I have better things to do. I have 25 analysis maps left to complete along with budget estimates for our largest client. I have to figure out some distribution problems on the east coast before COB. I have a million other things that I would rather do. There is a reason that I drink roughly 40 oz of coffee a day and listen to deathmetal on my headphones all day while furiously switching between spreadsheets. It's not because at some point in my busy day, I want to COLOR.

For 8 hours each day, I do my best to work as quickly and as accurately as I can. In return, I expect a paycheck and the marginal satisfaction that my work is respected and appreciated by others. Being the competitive asshole that I am, I also derive satisfaction by doing things better than others. If you want something done right the first time and FAST- you come and see me. I'm not here to waste your time or mine.

On the other hand, HR wafts through life talking about how you 'feel' and what about 'the other person's shoes', etc. Fuck that. If I want to know how another person feels, I'll ask. I swear- everytime HR opens their mouth it's like 3 1/2 hours of my day goes down the shitter. I don't really give a shit about how a quadroplegic dyslexic lesbian 'feels' (but I'm guessing not much below the neck).

In protest of all this time that I was forced to waste today, I've decided to retaliate by starting blog. It won't always be this hostile, but I figure we might as well start this thing out with a bang.

If they can pay me to color, they can damn well pay me to blog. I think of it as 'Therapy'.

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